Lithi is a village in western Chios, 24 kilometres from the island’s capital. Part of the western Mastichochoria, the village has been built amphitheatrically amidst groves of trees in the western foothills of Mt Ereikani, with panoramic views of the endless Aegean blue.
The village of Lithi does not survive in its original Medieval “walled village” configuration. It’s believed that the village obtained its name from the local harbour, known in Greek as “αληθής λιμήν” (alithis limin, true harbour). Older sources record the village under the name Ληθί, with an Eta instead of an Iota in the first syllable.
The local inhabitants are known throughout Chios as Lithonomousoi (or Lithonomousaines for women) and not as “Lithousoi” as would be expected compared to the inhabitants of other villages (e.g. Mestousoi, Pyrgousoi etc.). They speak a highly distinctive local dialect, one of the most fascinating on the island.

The parish church of Lithi is dedicated to St George. The locals are devoted to their patron saint and his memory, with his icon doing the rounds of the village after every Holy Liturgy. Tradition requires that it be escorted by at least one horse rider. After it has visited each house in the village, the icon is returned to the church.
A local natural sight to see in the area around Lithi is the small Sykia cave, a formation that has been estimated to be over 200 million years old.
Lithi is the ancestral home of the prominent banker and national benefactor Andreas Syggros. A young St Nektarios also spent a decade teaching here in the final quarter of the 19th century. As a young teacher, he developed a close bond with the people of Lithi even after being tonsured a monk and leaving the island. In addition, while on the island he made the acquaintance of two venerable religious figures, the holy Parthenios, a prominent hermit on Mt Provateion and the ktetor of the Monastery of Agios Markos, and the holy Pachomios, at the skete of Agioi Pateres. In fact, the latter eventually became St Nektarios’ spiritual guide. They developed a lifelong spiritual and friendly bond that lasted until the holy father’s death.
Lithi was the site of the decisive battle to liberate the island, fought in November 1912 between Greek forces led by the Cretan volunteer and freedom fighter Georgios Perros and the Ottomans. Over the course of the battle, Perros made the ultimate sacrifice, delaying the Turkish forces and causing them to suffer severe losses.

Image 360